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2D Game Development in Python

I like to do fun stuff when learning a new language. I've been
working with Python for a little while on real world problems mostly
fixing bugs and writing a simulator for work.

I was thinking as a hobby project developing a simple 2d game (think
Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, LoadRunner) and mentioned this to my 14
year old nephew. About a week later I got a full write up for a game
that he wrote and would like to play. So I figure why not take his
write up and turn it into a game as an exercise in fun and learning
more about Python?

I think I need at least this: 2D graphics, sound, input (kbd, mouse,
joystick maybe), some IPC might be nice (Stuff like: Sockets, TCP,
UDP, pipes, msg queues, shared memory). The IPC stuff would only be
used if I decide to allow some multi-player over a network.

I've been playing with Pygame some in my late night hobby time. I'm
wondering what else I should be looking at since I'm not all that
impressed with Pygame so far. Maybe it is the right library, but
maybe it's not. Please don't point me to a list of choices. I've
seen all the lists. I've done my reading. What I don't have is
actual testimonials by people who have used a chunk of code to program
an animated 2D game and had a great experience.

I am mainly developing on Windows XP using Python 2.5.1. I also have
multiple Linux boxes that I am migrating my life to and so any game
needs to be platform independent because I'll be on Linux full time
soon. If it's going to run on Windows and Linux, I think it should
run on Mac too.

I've been developing systems and programs for over 20 years.
Languages I'm an expert in include C, C++, Java. I have a strong
working knowledge and have developed non-trivial software in Smalltalk
and Lisp.

Thanks if you can help. And no, writing some graphics library myself
is not an option, I need the leverage, this is a hobby.
Dec 21 '07 #1
4 2986

"PatrickMinnesota" <Pa**************@gmail.comwrote in message
news:4b**********************************@a35g2000 prf.googlegroups.com...
| I think I need at least this: 2D graphics, sound, input (kbd, mouse,
| joystick maybe), some IPC might be nice (Stuff like: Sockets, TCP,
| UDP, pipes, msg queues, shared memory). The IPC stuff would only be
| used if I decide to allow some multi-player over a network.
|
| I've been playing with Pygame some in my late night hobby time. I'm
| wondering what else I should be looking at since I'm not all that
| impressed with Pygame so far. Maybe it is the right library, but
| maybe it's not. Please don't point me to a list of choices. I've
| seen all the lists. I've done my reading. What I don't have is
| actual testimonials by people who have used a chunk of code to program
| an animated 2D game and had a great experience.

Someone recently posted on the pygame list that he had tried the rather new
pyglet (which wraps ogre) and was switching many games to that. It is new
enough that it might not be on 'all the lists' yet. But no, I have not
tried it yet.

Dec 21 '07 #2
On 21 Des, 02:16, PatrickMinnesota <PatrickMinnes...@gmail.comwrote:
>
I've been playing with Pygame some in my late night hobby time. I'm
wondering what else I should be looking at since I'm not all that
impressed with Pygame so far. Maybe it is the right library, but
maybe it's not. Please don't point me to a list of choices. I've
seen all the lists. I've done my reading. What I don't have is
actual testimonials by people who have used a chunk of code to program
an animated 2D game and had a great experience.
I guess it's not appropriate to point to a library like this...?

http://www.pygame.org/project/547/

The author of this library seems to be quite productive given that
he's released quite a few games of late. I've written one-and-a-half
games in Pygame, so I can't say that I can give you a testimonial, but
if you're familiar with the basics of 2D sprite plotting and animation
(not even to the level of the old days using microcomputers), then you
should be able to write something fairly quickly using Pygame.

Personally, I'm not too convinced about using a game library on top of
Pygame since the old discussion about frameworks and libraries comes
into effect: is working within the framework (or with the library) too
restrictive when you know exactly what you want to do? Nevertheless, I
can envisage situations, especially if you want to prototype stuff,
where a library would save you some time.
I am mainly developing on Windows XP using Python 2.5.1. I also have
multiple Linux boxes that I am migrating my life to and so any game
needs to be platform independent because I'll be on Linux full time
soon. If it's going to run on Windows and Linux, I think it should
run on Mac too.
Well, Pygame uses SDL which is itself pretty portable.
I've been developing systems and programs for over 20 years.
Languages I'm an expert in include C, C++, Java. I have a strong
working knowledge and have developed non-trivial software in Smalltalk
and Lisp.

Thanks if you can help. And no, writing some graphics library myself
is not an option, I need the leverage, this is a hobby.
I think Pygame is a good foundation because of the SDL dependency. One
reads horror stories about getting certain other libraries working in
a short space of time in connection with the PyWeek challenges [1],
and I doubt that you really need OpenGL support or anything as
complicated as that. If you want to do particularly fancy effects or
transitions, it might be interesting to use Pygame's support for
Numeric - I've really only used Numeric for mundane things like
recolouring sprites, however.

Whether Pygame qualifies as a full "graphics library" according to
your expectations is probably something only you can judge at present.
If you expect full management of sprites, scrolling maps, and so on
then you will need to look into the add-on libraries for Pygame. There
are only three pages of libraries to look at here:

http://www.pygame.org/tags/libraries

Since many of them are very specific, it should be possible to rule
out a lot of them very quickly.

Paul

[1] http://www.pyweek.org/
Dec 21 '07 #3

"Steven Clark" <st************@gmail.comwrote in message
news:66******************************************@ mail.gmail.com...
| Pyglet does NOT, to my knowledge, "wrap ogre". Pyglet is a lean-and-mean
| standalone library, and gets a big, big thumbs up from me. Check it out.
| http://pyglet.org/
| 2D sprites can be accomplished pretty easily within its openGL framework.

Sorry, I mentally mixed together two things I want to try out soon (the
Python-ogre (pyogre) ogre wrapper being the other).

Dec 22 '07 #4
On Dec 20, 8:16 pm, PatrickMinnesota <PatrickMinnes...@gmail.com>
wrote:
seen all the lists. I've done my reading. What I don't have is
actual testimonials by people who have used a chunk of code to program
an animated 2D game and had a great experience.
You could use Panda3D to create the game, who cares that it is really
a 3D engine ... just don't rotate the camera ;-)

http://panda3d.etc.cmu.edu/what.php
i.
Dec 22 '07 #5

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